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Boreal Community Media

Hospital board elects officers for 2019

Feb 01, 2019 07:26AM ● By Editor
Cook County Court Clerk Kim Shepard administered the oath of office to Sharon Bloomquist, Randy Wiitala and Steve Nielsen at the most recent hospital board meeting. Seated are Justin Mueller and Kay Olson. Photo:  Kimber Wraalstad

By Brian Larsen of the Cook County News Herald - February 1, 2019

Elected hospital board members Sharon Bloomquist, District 1; Steve Nielsen, District 3; and Randy Wiitala, District 5 took the oath of office administered by Cook County Court Clerk Lead Worker Kim Shepard at the January 24 North Shore Health board meeting.

Once sworn in, the board closed the meeting for 30 minutes to discuss the quality improvement/ review report, the medical staff report, and to get an update on the negotiations.

At 9:30 a.m. the meeting was reopened and an election for officers was held with no change from last year. Kay Olson remains board chair, Sharon Bloomquist the clerk and Randy Wiitala treasurer for 2019. 

Following the election assignments to boards were divvied up, meeting reimbursement amounts set, and Kimber Wraalstad was again affirmed as the hospital administrator and who will serve as Chief Executive Officer and oversee administrative management of the hospital.

Pay was set at $200 per meeting, with the board chair receiving $250 per meeting. Other meetings and educational sessions will be paid at $100 per, with the 2019 I.R.S. mileage standard of 58 cents per mile allotted to board members traveling on hospital board business.

Upon recommendation by the administration, the board again approved designating the Grand Marais State Bank for routine banking activities such as depositing daily receipts and the withdrawal of accounts payable and payroll expenses.

Board chair Kay Olson and Kimber Wraalstad will continue as signatories for withdrawals.

Also approved was a resolution to apply for a 2019 Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant Program from the office of rural health and primary care of the Minnesota Health Department. “We apply for funds to replace one of our ambulances,” Wraalstad said.

Administrator Wraalstad was authorized to sign the contracts and certifications as required to implement the organization’s participation in the Minnesota Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant Program. 

New Director of Nursing

Fred “Andy” Andrews, RN, BSN, was promoted to fill the Director of Nursing position.

Administrator Wraalstad reported that Andy has been an employee at North Shore Health since July 2017. Prior to that, he worked for the hospital as a contract nurse. Previous experience included serving as Chief Nursing Officer at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Fort Worth, Texas and at the Texas Specialty Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

Kimber noted that Andy also has many years of experience working in emergency rooms throughout the U.S. and had served in the United States Marines. 

Andy began his new position on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. 

Chemotherapy update

The first chemotherapy infusion went “swimmingly” said Wraalstad, and other infusions have been scheduled. 

Education Coordinator Position

North Shore Health is planning an Education Coordinator position.

The education coordinator will plan, coordinate, monitor and evaluate all components of clinical education including new employee orientation, employee competencies and continuing education for the clinical staff of North Shore Health. The person hired will work with the nursing leadership council, and the education coordinator will plan, schedule and coordinate clinical education. 

Helipad update

The current helipad that is used for emergency flights between the hospital and Duluth needs to be improved.

The helipad will continue to be in the same general vicinity where it is currently located. In addition to the current approach and departure zone, a second approach and departure zone will be designated over the water tanks, Administrator Wraalstad reported.

Wraalstad reported that Jessica Derynck from DSGW architects had obtained spot elevations over the city of Grand Marais water tank located near the Gunflint Trail. She said it appears the flight path of a helicopter can go over the tanks with enough clearance. The trees between the tanks and the hospital parking lot will have to be removed, and the light pole in front of the clinic will need to be removed.

“The new drawings have been forwarded to Michael Harwell, the aviation representative for MnDOT. He has indicated he will forward the drawings to others in the Aviation Division to review, as this has some complex issues and he would like to make sure that all inspectors agree with the design.”

Wraalstad hoped to receive a response by January 25, however, several days after the meeting she reported, “We have not heard from MnDOT Division of Aviation yet. Mr. Hartell was out of the office at training. Jessica Derynck from DSGW is attempting to arrange a meeting with Mr. Hartell and others in his office. The repainting of the ‘relocated’ helipad will not occur until spring. Until then, we are continuing to use the helipad.”